The government will be forced to give Parliament the final say on a Brexit deal, after the majority of MPs supported an amendment put down by former Attorney General and Tory “mutineer” Dominic Grieve.
In a major parliamentary defeat for Theresa May, enough Tory MPs joined the opposition parties in supporting the demand for a “meaningful vote” on leaving the EU. Labour and Tory rebels won the vote 309 to 305.
The vote means MPs have a legal right to vote on the Government’s Brexit deal.
Why Brexit bill defeat matters: 1. MPs have legal guarantee of vote on final deal (rather than verbal one). 2. Vote will be statutory (so amendments can be tabled).
— George Eaton (@georgeeaton) December 13, 2017
The defeat came after building tension, with the Evening Standard – now edited by former Tory Chancellor George Osborne – reporting that a government whip’s bullying tactics reduced a female MP to tears.
Remainers from different political parties gathered ahead of the vote to rally support, with Labour backbencher Chuka Umunna launching an email campaign for Remainers to write to their MPs before the vote.
Earlier, shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer tweeted: “Labour will back Dominic Grieve’s amendment giving Parliament a proper say on the Brexit deal if he pushes it to a vote tonight. The terms of our future are not for the government alone to determine.”